Five Considerations Before Using a Brokerage EULA

Somewhere between a reseller and a publisher is an entity called a brokerage. A reseller sells products made by vendors; resellers provide shelf space and basic terms of sale of a package, and that’s about it. A publisher on the other hand, manages all aspects of product sales, support and sub-licensing, and from a customer perspective, the publisher is the sole source of the product, and the customer relationship exists between the customer and the publisher.

Then there is the brokerage, which is somewhere in between. There are all kinds of brokerages out there, but I am going to focus on the ones that broker content from creator artists, 3D designers and photographers and then license it to the end user – most specifically for 3D models, such as those provided by Meshbox Design. Brokerages own the customer relationship, and may require you to use their End User License Agreement on your product, as a condition of working with them.

At this point, I have to disclaim any and all claims that I am practicing law of any kind. I am not a lawyer. Anything resembling legal advice here isn’t legal advice. What I hope to provide though is some insight into using a license provided by a brokerage. Continue reading Five Considerations Before Using a Brokerage EULA

The Sleaziness of Google and Chilling Effects Displaying Engine Removed Links

Google makes a good show of supporting intellectual property rights. I have been a believer but I just had my faith shaken when I discovered a sleazy trick Google perpetuates when it removes materials from its search engine as a result of an intellectual property complaint (DMCA). After you use their Webmaster tools to report URLs that link to violating materials, Google goes through the process of checking the links, and then reporting that they are removed from their search engine.

What Google isn’t saying  is that it puts not only the report of the removal of the take down notice to Chilling Effects, it also includes the link itself. That is, the link to the actual location where the abuse is taking place.  Now Google could claim that they aren’t posting it, that Chilling Effects is. However providing the actual link to Chilling Effects merely propagates the violation on yet another site.

Many copyright holders make requests to Google because the sites containing the copyrighted materials are located in countries where copyrights have very little meaning. Sending take down notices mean nothing, other than giving those sites an extra email address to spam.

Getting Links to Copyright Violations Removed from Google Part 1

We license a lot of content through the Meshbox Design division of Proactive International. Meshbox primarily focuses on original 3D content that is licensed to digital production houses, film studios and individual artists. Meshbox also makes the original Santa that is the mascot Santa for NORAD’s annual NORAD Tracks Santa site.

There are evil scum who repost our 3D content as well as are market images. Sending out DMCA takedown notices is a very tiresome task. Usually it doesn’t do much good to contact the warez site where its being given away, but more effective to send DMCA takedown notices to the sites that actually host the files.

One problem with this is that Google indexes just about everything it finds, and sometimes the warez results end up being higher in Google’s search than the original creator. Ive decided to see what I can do about that.

I found some of our models on a warez site, and already got the 3D models themselves removed from the file sharing sites that host them. However, this same warez site took our original marketing renders and reused them. These images have been indexed by Google. We are trying to get Google to remove those links to those images.

After following the reporting methods provided by Google, we’ve gotten our first feedback from Google – stating that they got our DMCA takedown notice,  but do not understand it. They also replied asking for links – which were already included in our original post. Now,  Ive followed this up with a more detailed explanation. It seems clear to me: you are linking to our images, and caching those images in the Google web search. The original images they are indexing are illegal, therefore they are copying illegally posted images into their search engine – pretty clear to me – remove the links and the associated images.

Ill follow up with updates on how this goes.


Netflix Feeling the Pangs of Content Delivery Evolution

I don’t have Netflix, but I have been enjoying the Prime video service of Amazon Prime perhaps just a little too much. Every time I get close to finishing some obscure series on Prime, Amazon restocks with something I really want to see – especially intelligently written British television shows like Touching Evil and Trial & Retribution. But Netflix is feeling the pangs of a changing market. Continue reading Netflix Feeling the Pangs of Content Delivery Evolution